Pretty Cake Mix Cupcakes With Vanilla Glaze

These easy cake mix cupcakes include a tender white cake mix topped with a sweet vanilla glaze and a pretty edible decoration. They’re perfect for your next birthday party, shower, or get-together.

Pretty cake mix mini cupcakes with a vanilla glaze and pink flower on top.

Looking for an easy homemade cupcake recipe that looks so pretty and perfect that everyone will think they’re store-bought? Step this way! I have my daughter to thank for inspiring this cake mix cupcakes recipe. You see, we love petit fours so thought we’d try making them at home in the easiest and least complicated way possible. And voila, this recipe was born!

The ingredients list is simple, which is what we like to see. We start with a boxed white cake mix, which we prepare according to package directions. I’m personally making mini cupcakes today, but you can follow the exact same directions to make full-sized cupcakes, there will obviously just be fewer.

Once you have your baked cake mix cupcakes, we’re going to add a sweet vanilla glaze on top petit fours-style, which is made with confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract/flavoring, and milk. Then, if you like, you can go that extra step and add the pretty-in-pink flower on top. To do so, we mix together store-bought vanilla frosting with pink food coloring until it’s the color you desire. Then keep reading below for the step-by-step process to perfect your flowers. I promise it’s easy!

These pretty cake mix cupcakes are so easy to make, I hope you give them a go before your next birthday party, baby shower, or family get-together. Adults and kids alike won’t be able to say no!

Recipe Ingredients

  • White box cake mix
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Milk
  • Clear vanilla flavoring, butter flavoring, or vanilla extract
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Pink food coloring

How to Make Cake Mix Cupcakes

Prepare cake mix according to package and pour batter into cupcake papers.

Bake the Cupcakes

First, prepare the cake batter according to the package directions. You will typically need an egg, water, and oil to make your cake.

Then line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Today I’m using a mini cupcake tin and mini cupcake papers, but you can also use a muffin tin with regular cupcake papers.

Here is a little #protip: Place your cupcake mix into a zipper seal bag and seal well. Snip off a small portion of one corner and squeeze the batter into your muffin papers for mess-free ease that saves a lot of time.

Bake cupcakes according to the package directions (for example, I baked mine in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes). Cupcakes generally take between 15 to 20 minutes to bake.

To check if they’re done, stick a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go!

Stir together sugar, milk, and flavoring to make vanilla glaze.

Prepare the Vanilla Icing

Time to make our thick confectioner’s sugar glaze.

All you need to do is stir the 3 ingredients together until there are no lumps. It may take a minute or two but it will happen.

Now, you want your icing to be the consistency of school glue. I’m giving you basic measurements at the bottom of this post but you may need to tweak it a little bit by adding a bit more milk if it is too thick or a bit more sugar if it is too thin and stirring well again. 

Dip cupcake tops into vanilla glaze.

With a good grasp on each cupcake, dip the tops into the icing.

Let it drip for just a moment when you pull it out and then set it aside to dry.

Repeat with all of the cupcakes. 

Cake mix cupcakes with vanilla glaze.

Add the Decoration

Let them dry for a few minutes and then top them with the roses if you like.

In keeping with the simple nature of this recipe, we just used store-bought vanilla icing for the roses. I dyed mine a deep pink, but choose whichever color you like.

To make these little flowers I just used a 30 tip. All you have to do is place the tip in an icing bag and fill the bag with icing.

Icing bag filled with pink icing.

How I hold my icing bag

The end is twisted to hold the icing in and that is pinched between my index and thumb fingers. Then the fatter part of the bag is held and squeezed as I work with the palm of my hand.

How to make a flower

With the bag straight up and down, not tilted, gently squeeze out a little icing. Stop squeezing, wait one second, and then pull your icing bag up. As long as you stop squeezing before pulling your bag up you’ll have a nice little flower.

I went back with some kitchen tweezers and added a little pearl-looking sprinkle to the center of each one, which took me all of three minutes.

Another easy way to decorate them is to just put some colored icing in a gallon zipper seal bag and cut just the tip off of one corner, then do a few zig-zag lines across the top of each one.

Cake mix cupcakes with vanilla glaze and pink flowers on top.

Let these sit out for an hour or so until the icing crusts over a bit and then store them in an airtight container… or eat them all. Totally up to you but I wanted to offer up both options ;).

If you have a friend or two around, they can help you with the eating option too!



Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze cupcakes for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to use any boxed cake mix you like, including yellow cake mix, vanilla cake mix, or even chocolate cake mix.
  • If you’re not adding the flower decorations, before the glaze dries drop the cupcake tops into a bowl of sprinkles or chopped nuts if you like.

Recipe FAQs

How many cupcakes does a box of cake mix make?

A boxed cake mix typically makes between 24 and 30 regular cupcakes and 48 mini cupcakes.

What is the perfect amount of cake mix for cupcakes?

You want to fill your cupcake papers 2/3 full, which for regular cupcakes is about 3 tablespoons or an ice cream scoop of cake batter.

What other toppings can I add to my cake mix cupcakes?

Because you’re starting with a simple white cake base, any kind of frosting will work. This might be chocolate frosting, cream cheese frosting, or buttercream frosting.

Check out these other bite-sized cake and cookie recipes:

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Rolo Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe (Made From Scratch)

Cookies and Cream Cookies Using Cake Mix

Mini Bundt Cakes Using Aunt Sue’s Famous Pound Cake

Birthday Cake Cookies

Cake Mix Cupcakes

These easy cake mix cupcakes include a tender white cake mix topped with a sweet vanilla glaze and optional edible decorations that are perfect for your next birthday party, shower, or get-together.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, cupcake
Servings: 48 mini cupcakes
Calories: 274kcal


  • 1 box white cake mix

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1.5 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or butter flavoring

Decoration (optional)

  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • pink food coloring


  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions and divide it evenly among 48 mini muffin cups in a muffin tin lined with mini cupcake papers. Bake according to package directions, which will be at 350 for about 15 minutes or so (give or take) or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed in the center. Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely.
    1 box white cake mix
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the confectioner's sugar, milk, and flavoring until well combined and there are no lumps. The mixture needs to be the consistency of school glue. If it is too thin, stir in more confectioner's sugar (a tablespoon or so at a time). If it is too thick, stir in more milk (a teaspoon at a time) until desired consistency is reached.
    1.5 cups confectioner's sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or butter flavoring
  • With a good hold on each cupcake, dip the tops of them, one at a time, into the glaze. Hold it upside down over the bowl for a second or two once you remove them to allow excess glaze to drip off. Flip right side up and place on a platter or a waxed paper-lined countertop to dry. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
  • Once the cupcakes have dried, place a #30 tip in an icing bag and fill it with icing. Twist down the top to close and hold the bag as pictured in this post.
    1 container vanilla frosting
  • With the bag straight up and down, not tilted, gently squeeze out a little icing. Stop squeezing, wait one second, then pull your icing bag up. As long as you stop squeezing before pulling your bag up you'll have a nice little flower. Optional: Use kitchen tweezers to add a little pearlish-looking sprinkle to the center of each one.
  • Allow the cupcakes to dry for a bit so the icing develops a thin crusting on the outside. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Calories: 274kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”


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  1. What a great idea! That Katy sounds like she has wisdom beyond her years. Love the picture of her. She has what I call “smiling eyes”. When she smiles her eyes smile with her that just lights up her face! Such a smart and pretty girl and I know you are proud of her.

  2. Wow, that Katy is a smart girl! These look delicious and easy enough for me to make with my daughter. Can’t wait to try them!

  3. Oh Christy,

    I was so excited to see this post. I live in Middle Tenn now but grew up in Huntsville. We got the Petit Fours from Peggy Anns at least twice a month. Usually with my Nana (my Mom’s mom) who I practically lived with for much of my childhood, and my Mom.

    Then my daughter (who was 9 when we moved to Tenn) loved them as much as I did. So after we moved up here (we are about 3 hours north of Huntsville) we started the tradition of going down to get them once a month at least.

    I don’t get down quite as often as I used to but I get them several times a year. The girls in my office love them now, so many of those trips I buy them to bring back to work.

    This is such a great memory from my childhood so I was thrilled when I read your post. When I saw the headline and from a ‘local bakery’ I knew it was Peggy Ann’s before I even read it!

    You & I grew up very close to each other. I lived not too far from the Space & Rocket Center.

    I can’t wait to make these. It will be a great substitute when I can’t get down there and am craving them. On a side note, I found square cupcake pans & papers here locally so I may do that to make it look almost the same, like for a special occasion!

    Love your web site. Its like being at home for me! Kathy

  4. I can’t wait to try these, perfect for giving a little pick-me-up gift to family, friends and co-workers. Love the photo of Katy and friend. Katy looks so much like her brother!

  5. Hi,

    The petite cakes look lovely. In reading over the recipe, does the milk go into the cake mix in place of water, or in the icing that decorates the cupcake?

    Also, is the cake mix the new quantity of 15.25 or 16.25 plus ozs, or the former size cake mix that was 18.25 oz.? What brand cake mix? Also how do you adjust recipes that were using the 18.25oz and now are the 15.25 or 16.25, depending on which brand used? I have had some bad luck baking a recipe that was perfect using the former cake mixes and have not turned out good with the new sized mixes. Also taste on some of the mixes is off!!

    Thanking you in advance and hoping you can help solve my problem.

    Linda M

    1. Hey Linda!
      The milk is for the glaze (step 2). I just instructed to prepare the cake mix according to package directions but I did mention in the post itself that I substitute milk for water when going by the package directions – that’s just another optional thing based on personal preference. You can use whatever brand of cake mix you prefer. I usually go back and forth between Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines, depending on where I am shopping as some stores only carry one brand. Those two brands have never let me down, though.
      Neither my mother, myself, or my sister in law (who are all avid bakers) have made any adjustments at all to the new sizes of the mixes and haven’t seen an issue. I’m not a fan of the size change myself but it appears they did their research and made sure they work with at least most of the recipes. Most especially in this recipe, though, as you are just preparing it according to the directions on the package and it still makes the desired amount of cupcakes.
      I’m trying to think of a mix I’ve used that I haven’t had good luck with but I guess I really do tend to stick to those two brands. I use Pillsbury from time to time, too. I also have a homemade white cake recipe on this site if you need it, it is slightly less sweet (only slightly) but that allows the icing to shine a bit more without being overbearing.
      Hope this helps and have a great Wednesday!!

  6. makes me think of the times I spent with my mom and my auntie. Katy is very wise and pretty as well. God bless you both.

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